CEO Update July 2020

It has been a difficult fortnight for some with restrictions being reintroduced in Victoria. Border restrictions differ across the States and so we have captured this information (as best we can) for your ease of reference. GIA has regularly encouraged Members to remain vigilant in relation to Covid-19 safety protocols and I again want to reiterate this message.

All businesses should follow the distancing restrictions and implement Covid-19 safety protocols irrespective of the restrictions easing. We also encourage you to download the COVID Safe App. In doing this, we will help ensure we remain open and trading. As a reminder, GIA has a suite of information and support available here for your use .

As we kick off the second year of operation of Greenlife Industry Australia (GIA), I would like to provide an overview of the key areas of work and activities we will be addressing under the GIA strategic imperatives.

We will continue our Federal Government advocacy efforts. We will maintain our approach as an ‘essential service’ for Australia in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and as we adapt to a new mode of operation. It is vital that we continue to support the industry and make representation to Government.

Plant Health and biosecurity have been highlighted as vital to the prosperity of the nursery industry in this the International Year of Plant Health. We are firmly entrenched in the process to ensure the importation of cut flowers meets and exceeds minimum biosecurity compliance levels and we are working with the Minister and Department of Agriculture to determine mechanism for a general cargo biosecurity funding support.

Another area of advocacy and representation being progressed is with respect to industrial relations (IR) and the Nursery Award. I am working with the State Association members on how to progress a review of the Award and other relevant IR regulations.

This imperative is to promote the benefits of the greenlife industries. These benefits are far reaching, and we need to ensure we manage our resources to maximise the promotional activities. We have scoped approaches to supporting and promoting the three key supply chains being retail, landscape and production horticulture. They are at various stages of implementation with Plant Pals for retail, Hort Council engagement for production horticulture and progressing an alliance with the landscape and turf industry to work in a coordinated approach.

The next round of the survey for the Nursery Industry Statistics Project will commence later in the year. The true value of the industry statistics has been highlighted in supporting our promotional and advocacy activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. I would encourage your participation in the survey again this year so we can achieve our aim of over 300 completed surveys. This number of surveys provides the industry with the most statistically significant data and information.

GIA will maintain a watching brief of the levy funded marketing programs of Greener Spaces Better Places (GSBP) and Plant Life Balance (PLB). This is the seventh year of the combined 202020 Vision and GSBP marketing program of influencing Government, Business, Community and Consumer to purchase more greenlife due to the inherent benefits and flow on effects.

An outcome from this imperative is to develop an industry sustainability framework around the triple bottom line elements of social, environmental and economic sustainability of the industry. Some of the projects and activities under the framework include the Biosecurity Program, the Australian Plant Production Standard and an initiative to progress a program for plastic recycling in the industry.

We have this imperative progressing on a number of fronts and are in the process of calling for applications for the Careers, Education and Training sub-committee of the GIA Board. GIA is partnering with RM Consulting Group on a Nursery Careers Pathway project with a focus on:

1. Facilitating the targeted design and delivery of education and training programs (formal and informal) that support upskilling and development of people in the nursery industry; and
2. Defining, developing and showcasing jobs and career pathways that demonstrate dynamic career opportunities within the sector.

GIA addressing the other three areas of the five pronged approach to nursery careers, complementing the two above, being:
1. Promotion and awareness of the industry
2. Addressing careers and training policy parameters
3. Human Resource Management practices

The fifth imperative is based on ensuring GIA has the financial resources to support the delivery of the above four. The key sources of funding for GIA are membership (direct and association), projects, grants, fee for service activities and management of intellectual property.

GIA Management and Operations
We have a large portfolio and breadth of activities planned for this year and one of the biggest challenges is to use our resources as effectively as possible to maximise benefits to members and the industry. We are constantly provided with ‘opportunities’ to pursue and it is up to the Board and Management to decide which are the most judicious ones.

The first year of operation for GIA was focussed on transitioning the assets, activities and arrangements from NGIA to GIA, consolidating our strategy and conducting the national conference. We are looking forward to supporting members and progressing the industry during the 20/21 financial year.

Please contact me at if you would like to provide comments or have questions on the activities of Greenlife Industry Australia.